Minnesota loses a senior to injury

In the past week, Gophers womenâÄôs gymnastics team hasnâÄôt been particularly lucky, especially when it comes to health. In practice on Wednesday, the women watched one of their senior leaders Angela Walker end her gymnastics career after tearing her Achilles tendon. The injury came to the beam specialist as she had just re-entered the lineup on the vault and floor events. The bad strain of luck all started last Friday. There, in Ames, the Gophers disappointed and came far from achieving their goal of a 196 score. Until Friday, Minnesota had consistently scored within the 195 range . Against Iowa State, however, the Gophers posted their lowest score of the season (191.475). The women, who appeared unusually unfocused, had to count 6 falls on the night. This led to a dismal performance on both the floor and beam. It left the women wondering if they are capable of a 196 score. On Sunday, the women saw another injury, this time to their leader and current best all-around performer in the Big Ten, Carmelina Carabajal . Minutes before the MasterâÄôs Classic began, Carabajal suffered a pulled muscle. Though minor, it was enough to keep her out of competition. But Minnesota showed they could carry on without their captain, scoring a 195.075 to take 3rd out of 4 teams. For the first time all year, CarabajalâÄôs teammates carried her. Even with the loss of an accomplished and respected teammate in the roster, the women are carrying on. The Gophers host Northern Illinois on Saturday at 6 p.m. Unlike the women, the men didnâÄôt get a shot at redemption last weekend, but they look for it this weekend as they make a return to the windy city. No. 6 Minnesota will take on the No. 14 University of Illinois-Chicago. Last weekend, the Gophers finished six out of seven teams with their second lowest score of the season, a 344.000 . There were some individual highlights, but team consistency struggled with an incredibly low hit percentage (67.6%). âÄúIt didnâÄôt feel like a horrible meet,âÄù junior Adam Reichow said. âÄúIt just felt like it was lackluster.âÄù Last weekend the competition was tough, but it isnâÄôt far off from the NCAAs. Coach Burns knows there canâÄôt be excuses in the near future as the NCAAs draw near. âÄúWe got to get battle-fit and ready for the kind of competition weâÄôre going to see when it really comes down to it,âÄù Burns said last week. This weekend Minnesota should be able to out-perform UIC with ease. âÄúWe need to go in, concentrate on ourselves, and get back on the roll of things,âÄù Reichow said.